AUTHENTIC CONNECTION DOES.
With all the time and effort I put into my job, I'd love to think that people stumble across my work online and stop (with jaws on the floor, obviously) and exclaim "THESE ARE THE BEST PHOTOS I'VE EVER SEEN, I HAVE TO BOOK THIS GUY." But that's not the case.
For all of the marketing I've done, I've only ever had one client who merely stumbled across my work online and decided to book me. So where have I found my clients? Word of mouth referrals from other clients who have worked with me before. Why?
BECAUSE RELATIONSHIPS SCREAM LOUDER THAN QUALITY.
Now, don't hear me wrong. I'm not at all saying that you should skimp on quality and expect that your amazing people skills will land you clients. Quite the opposite actually. I strongly believe that if you want to market yourself as a photographer, quality isn't optional – it's expected.
But here's the thing.
Quality work only makes people stop long enough to see if you're worth working with as a person.
When people are deciding whether or not to book me for their wedding they're not asking themselves if I know how to expose a photo properly, if my work is in focus, or what kind of cameras I have. Rather, they're determining if my personality and demeanor will compliment theirs and if I'll help make their wedding day experience better.
Proper exposure, focus, depth of field, color toning, compression, sharpness, etc – these are all foundational to being a photographer.
Because quality is expected.
I've never once heard a client thank me so much for the way I composed a certain shot, for the way I utilized depth of field, or for how I accentuated certain colors in a photo. But time and time again I hear, "You helped us relax. You made us feel comfortable. Having you there for our wedding felt like having a friend there to share in our joy."
"We had SO MUCH FUN working with you!"
Back to that one client who found me online and decided to book me. You know what they said when we sat down for our initial consult meeting before the booking process even started?
"We saw your work online and were really impressed...and then we read through your website, watched your Instagram stories, read your blogs, and felt like we actually got to know who you were and the heart behind why you do what you do – and that's when knew we had to have you there for our wedding."